Dream Life Vol II Chapter 76.1: “Distilled Rhapsody (Scotch Capriccio): Part 2”

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 My father, Mathias, sent Guy here to Doctus after he returned from Ars, the capital of the Kingdom of Caum. He came to tell me what had happened and to ask me what I could do to fix the situation.


 At the time, I was gathering information through my informant, Sai Furman, and was concerned about the situation in the village of Rathmore and I felt that I was partly to blame for inciting the dwarves to attack.



 I decided to organize a Magician’s Guild to help me deal with the situation.


 Originally, the Magician’s Guild is unfriendly to the Light God Church, which do not recognize academic freedom. They were also concerned about the growing power of the Church of Light.


 So I went to Piers Wagman, the chairman of the Magicians’ Guild Council, with a proposal that we could use this case to reduce the power of the Light God Church.



 My proposal was as follows.


 The Magician’s Guild fully endorses the claims of the Blacksmiths’ Guild.


 And unless the Holy Kingdom of Lux proves itself that the accusations against the Lockhart family are justified, the Magicians’ Guild declares that it will not allow the Holy Kingdom and those related to the Light God Church to pass through the city of Doctus.


 We will work through the court magicians of each country to create an international momentum to condemn the “Holy Kingdom of Lux”. Furthermore, if self-righteous behavior such as that of the bishop is not corrected, he asked that the members of the Light God Church be removed from each country and that the bishop’s behavior be “investigated and made public” on the responsibility of the Holy Kingdom.



 The reason why the Holy Kingdom was the target of the accusation was to take advantage of the dual power structure of the Holy King’s Office, the secular executive branch of government, and the Light God Church.


 I do not know how the officials of the Holy King’s Office feel about the Church of Light, but I can be sure that they do not have good feelings about the damage to the national interest caused by the Church of Light outburst. Although I could not fully grasp the power relationship between the Church of Light and the Holy King’s Office based on the information I obtained from Sai, it is easy to imagine that they are at odds with each other as is the fate of religious nations.


 In other words, by putting the Holy King’s Office in a dilemma between the various countries and the Church of Light, the aim was to make the conflict more severe.


 In this case, it was clearly an oversight on the part of the Church of Light, and the Holy King’s Office was surely planning to use this opportunity to gain an advantage in the power relationship. In other words, they would move to reduce the power of the Church. If this happened, the pressure on the Lockhart family would be removed, and they would be able to prevent the Order from interfering in their affairs in the future.



 In response to my proposal, Chairman Wagman looked at me with a blank face, and then demanded a reward, saying, “What is the benefit for us to do that?”


 I smiled and muttered, “Reward…?” before asserting with a straight face, “In the first place, the city of Doctus, a member of the City-State Union, should be condemning the Holy Kingdom.”



 Wagman shook his head at my model answer.



“We, the Magicians’ Guild and the City of Doctus, are not necessarily one and the same,” Piers said. “It is true that the government of Doctus is a member of the City-States Union, but the Magicians’ Guild is not involved in the interests of any country. In other words, it is a neutral organization. Otherwise, patriotic court magicians would leave the guild. So there has to be a clear reward, or benefit.”



 Wagman, too, had a good argument.


 I felt sorry for him, but I tightened my expression and began to explain.



“We need to establish friendly relations with the Blacksmith’s Guild, put pressure on the Light God Church is unjustly intervening in the studies, and ingratiate ourselves with other countries by preventing the expansion of the Light God Church who is beginning to plague many countries. There are ample benefits.” (Zack)




 And finally, while looking at Wagman’s eyes, he confirmed with an emotionless voice, “Do you still need more reward?”



“Don’t you think that’s a bit weak? We are not a charity, and we intervene in matters that do not have merit as an organization. Without a clear, and I do mean clear, and obvious benefit, it is difficult for us to make decisions as an organization.” (Piers)



 Wagman said and shrugged his shoulders.



(You should already be able to bury your political opponents and make almost authoritarian decisions, but apparently, you still want to play with me. Fine…) (Zack)



 I nodded, “I see,” then grinned and began to speak.



“‘The Magicians’ Guild, or rather, the Chairman of the Council of the Magicians’ Guild, Mr. Piers Wagman, in his quest for profit, has allowed Light God Church to run amok. He is a self-serving zealot who uses ‘alcohol’ as a political tool, just like the zealots of the Light God Church.’ I may report to the Blacksmiths Guild and the dwarves as such… but you still bear the support of the Lockharts. There are plenty that the Blacksmith Guild that can help you…” (Zack)



 Before I could finish, Wagman interrupted me by raising his hand and saying, “I give up. I knew I was no match for you,” he chuckled.



“I was going to take this opportunity to take you in, but… Even if I’m your opponent, you’ll calmly threaten me. And by mentioning my name. I know what kind of effect it would have. On top of that—even so, the Light God Church is quite foolish. They have picked a fight with the Lockhart family, which you are a part of.” (Piers)



 I was thinking there was no way the Magicians’ Guild would not cooperate. But I also knew that Wagman would say something to me personally. Of course, I knew he wasn’t serious, but just in case, I had thought of a countermeasure.



 As far as I was concerned, as long as the Magicians’ Guild cooperated, Wagman personally did not have to cooperate. If I explicitly suggested this to him, there was no way that he, a shrewd man, would not realize the danger. It was more of a threat than a suggestion, but I didn’t really mean to threaten him. Of course, he is aware of this.



 I guessed that he would think this way.


 If Wagman chooses not to cooperate with me here, he will think that I will take the matter to another councilor. This is quite possible, since I am not seeking Wagman’s personal help, but only the help of the Magicians’ Guild.


 I would then tell the councilor that the chairman is in communication with the Light God Church and is undermining the guild’s interests. If that happens, his reputation within the guild will surely decline.


 In fact, from the standpoint of the guild’s practical interests, it would be a great political loss if relations with the Blacksmith’s Guild deteriorate. If the chairman himself were to damage the guild’s interests, there would be those who would question Wagman’s political skill.


 Although he has no clear political opponents at the moment, and there is no immediate threat to his power base, there is no denying the possibility that his political base could be shaken if someone tries to take advantage of this information.


 Of course, if I do that, I will be picking a fight with the most powerful person in the city, and I will not be able to stay in Doctus. In other words, it would be a double-edged blade for me as well.


 But as I myself have always said, I don’t need to be in this city, and I have no intention of joining the Magicians’ Guild. So, the disadvantage for me is quite small. Compared to protecting my parents’ home, I do not need to fear abandoning the city.


 The chairman understands this as well, so I guess he couldn’t gauge how serious I was. That is why he immediately dropped the subject of demanding a benefit.



 If Wagman refused to cooperate any further, I would not only tell the other councilors that the chairman was uncooperative, but I would also threaten to “tell the Blacksmith’s Guild that Chairman Wagman is an enemy of liquor lovers.”


 I knew he would understand how terrifying that sounded.



 I hid my inner feelings and smiled as I said, “I thought that Your Excellency would ‘definitely’ understand.”


 And make a serious expression,



“Light God Church is indeed foolish. But fools don’t always get punished. As for me, I want to take all possible precautions.” (Zack)



 Wagman nodded at my words.


 I continued.



“In my name, Zacharias Lockhart, please inform the nations involved with the Light God Church that we may not sell any of the long-aged liquors from the ‘Zack Collection’ to any country that is a supporter of the Light God Church.” (Zack)



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